Originally Posted by sandrock
1) Battleships, no matter their country of origin, were mostly made of steel, but their decks were made from oak or teak, which made them vulnerable to bomb attacks (hence the massive AA arrays all around the deck). Why? Because if their decks were made of steel plating, they would shatter whenever their main turrets fired their rounds off. The wood deck actually acted as shock absorbers for their massive recoil..
Sorry, that'* wrong. Battleship decks are steel too. The wood goes OVER the steel for two reasons: varnished and sealed wood provides a layer of protection from the salt waters corrosive effects and.....holystoning and maintainence gives 2,000 some otherwise idle sailors something to do. You could actually stand on deck beside the turret while it was firing, with no ill effects beyond never ever ever hearing anything again. Standing in front of the muzzles, however.....
Battleships had massive arrays of AA guns for one main reason: The AA guns were needed to protect the aircraft carriers, and only battleships had the space and reserve tonnage available, most other ships did not.
Sorry, this has always bugged me, along with the "The gun blast was so large, the guncrew had to lie on the ground with their mouths open or it would blow up their lungs."